Storybook

Our Story

 

Baby Steps First:

The Schnozzle was developed by a physician working in the ER of very busy children’s hospital to better treat the typical pediatric bronchiolitis patient that was snotty, coughing and/or feeding poorly.   One night after putting his kids to bed, he tried to go to sleep.  However, the congestion in his nose was overwhelming.  Even though he knew that only his nose was blocked, he felt as if he could barely breathe.  The secretions were so deep that it even felt like it was difficult to swallow.  After finding a sample of a nasal irrigation device in the bathroom, he flushed his nose and got instant relief.  Later on at work, he realized this was exactly what his young pediatric patients were dealing with.  They had small nasal passages that were even more easily blocked up with secretions.  They couldn’t blow their own nose.  With a clogged nose they had trouble breathing and swallowing.   

The standard for treating kids was to suction the nose at home with a bulb syringe or using a suction catheter in the ER. Yet during the winter, parents would complain that they had already tried bulb suctions, saline drops and nose-fridas and they still came in for help.  Many parents (and even hospital staff) do not know how to use a bulb suction properly.  Sometimes they don’t position correctly or apply enough pressure to make a good seal.  Many are unable or afraid to adequately restrain an uncooperative child or they may not coordinate the compression and release of the bulb at the right time. 

Furthermore suctioning of the nostril causes it to collapse.  As a result some patients with narrow nasal openings obstruct with suctioning.  The effect of the negative pressure on the tissue can potentially leading to edema and further narrowing.  Also bulb suctioning and even deep catheter suctioning only removes secretions that come in direct contact with the opening of the suction tip.  This leaves the surrounding secretions in place.  Deep suctioning can cause irritation, pain and bleeding.  Parents and many pediatricians don’t have wall suction units at home. Even with good bulb or nasal tip suctioning, deep secretions were still continuing to cause the cough that was frequently the main concern for the parents’ visits.  Using small amounts of saline from an ampule dropper or a syringe would loosen secretions for better removal but there were still secretions left behind.  

From there it was clear that there needed to be a better way to deliver safe volumes of safe fluid into the noses of kids with the use of an adapter to create a seal to allow the fluid to flush the nasal cavity.  The Schnozzle features provided the ability to use 10ml sterile saline luer lock plunger syringes that were readily available in the hospital for IV use.  These syringes provided a premixed pre-filled sterile solution that was abundantly available.  These syringes had a built-in safety locking mechanism to allow a secure attachment and reduce the risks of accidental removal or slippage.  The plunger  syringes provided an ergonomic positive pressure delivery that  expanded the nasal passages, provided precise control during flushing and allowed a one-handed application to enable positioning with a second hand.  The syringes could be used equally well in any orientation.  The 10ml syringes provided a volume that was sufficient to fill and flush the nasal passages, but was also limited to a small volume appropriate for children (e.g.  pint sized nasal irrigation bottles or pump devices hold more than 5 times the total volume of a newborn’s lungs. and would not be safe).  

After creating prototypes, patenting and getting the parts manufactured, he tried the product on his family and willing friends, who then raved about how it helped them and their kids.  He got similar reactions from patient families, who were happy to have an immediate benefit during the ER visit and using the Schnozzle seemed to reduce the need for other interventions in the ER and even admissions. 

Bigger Steps:

In addition to providing a great treatment for the pediatric patients, nursing staff, respiratory therapists and other doctors working with the inventor wanted the device to treat their own acute and chronic conditions.  And they wanted to treat their own kids, husbands, wives, boyfriends, grandkids, etc.  Staff overwhelmingly preferred the Schnozzle over other OTC products they may have previously used.  Soon it became apparent that the Schnozzle was not just Kids Stuff and was great for grown up types, too.

Pediatric colleagues would brag how well their bigger children tolerated the product or  had applied it on their own regularly. The biggest hurdle was often getting people to see the Schnozzle being used and to have someone use it for the first time.  So thanks to many agreeable friends and families, the Schnozzle video was developed to help demonstrate and educate about the procedure.  Instead of focusing only on hospital sales, strategy was shifted and a website was rebuilt for direct online sales.  And now here you are reading about the Schnozzle… 

It is a simple effective treatment.  It is snotrocket science.  Try it and become part of the story.